Photo: Juhu Beach Club
The design for a new parklet at 51st Street in Temescal was inspired by a historic shallow water craft. Image: Juhu Beach Club

By Francesca Paris

On Tuesday, Juhu Beach Club launched a crowdfunding campaign to transform two parking spaces into a community parklet at 510 51st Street in Temescal. The parklet is one of 16 to have recently been approved by the city of Oakland. Other restaurants whose plans were given the go-ahead include Boot & Shoe Service, Stag’s Lunchette, and Antidote Juicery.

The 51st Street parklet will be located by the Temescal Triangle, in front of Juhu Beach Club, a popular Indian street-food restaurant owned by former “Top Chef” contestant Preeti Mistry and her wife Ann Nadeau.

Juhu Beach Club is the primary business sponsor of the initiative, and Mistry hopes to raise $29,000 through an Indiegogo campaign to fund the project. The campaign will run for eight weeks, and Mistry said that construction will start as soon as they secure the funding.

Preeti Mistry: co-owner of Juhu Beach Club which is hoping to build a parklet outside the restaurant. Photo: Juhu Beach Club

Local resident Sarah Patterson created the design for the parklet, and the team has hired Patrick Perez as the architect. LMNOP, a company that has built five parklets in San Francisco, will build the structure once the city has approved Perez and Patterson’s final architectural plan.

Inspired by the history of the Temescal area, Patterson has crafted a design that mimics a historic shallow water craft — a nod to the creek that runs below the streets — with built-in benches and moveable furniture for seating. Her design has a metal structure at the rear modeled after the sweat lodge that Temescal is named after. The structure will also include a sign pointing to areas of interest, a viewfinder that looks out on a mural across the street, and a life-size calf that will be periodically painted over by various local artists.

“We set ourselves the challenge of going beyond the typical railing, chairs and tables,” said Patterson. “Transit is a very important idea to me. That intersection has always been an important place of transit, from Native Americans to trains and cable cars to the major intersection it is today.”

The structure will provide ample bike parking, which was the original impetus for the project. Several Juhu Beach Club employees and numerous customers arrive by bike every day, and Mistry looked into creating more bike parking, but the sidewalk was deemed too narrow.

Inspired by other parklets that have been popping up around the Bay Area, Mistry applied to Oakland’s pilot program for parklets and was approved in early 2015.

The 51st Street Parklet was one of 16 accepted proposals in the pilot program for this year. See the full list. All parklets are privately constructed and maintained structures that are open for public use.

“This is more than just seating,” Mistry said. “This is the history of the neighborhood and an art destination.”

Francesca Paris, a summer 2015 reporting intern at Berkeleyside, is a sophomore at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. 

Related articles:
Saul’s applies to build a parklet in front of deli (01.14.15)
Berkeley’s first parklet opens in the Gourmet Ghetto (08.12.14)
Berkeley’s first two parklets coming this fall (06.19.14)
Berkeley parklets stir up excitement, apprehension (07.08.2014)
Berkeley officials get closer to public “parklet” policy (06.10.13)
Juhu Beach Club: Indian street food to Temescal (02.25.13)

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